clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Packers pass-rusher Rashan Gary remains elite

Gary is due for a massive contract during or after the 2023 regular season.

Detroit Lions v Green Bay Packers Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

There were some questions about what Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Rashan Gary would look like once he recovered from the ACL injury that ended his 2022 regular season campaign after just nine games. Gary, who is in a contract year, was able to return to the field for the Packers’ 2023 regular-season opener, though, and has picked up from where he’s left off after his last two dominant seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus’ Sam Monson, Gary ranks second in pass-rush win rate for PFF. That number ranks second in the league behind only Myles Garrett, who was the first overall pick in the same draft that Gary was selected 12th in. This is a great sign, as Gary’s snap count has been gradually increasing throughout the 2023 season.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has openly admitted that Gary has been on a pitch count this season, which was clear by his standing in the pass-rushing rotation. Against Chicago in Week 1, Gary played just 16 percent of the defense’s overall snaps. In the following two weeks, Gary played 27 percent and 38 percent of the defensive snaps before only lining up for only 27 percent against the Detroit Lions in Week 4 — a Thursday Night Football game on a short week.

On Sunday Night Football in the Packers’ most recent game, though, Gary played a season-high 30 snaps that was good for 47 percent of the defense’s overall plays. Despite the early-season pitch count, Gary is currently tied for 10th in the league in sacks this season, trailing only one player — T.J. Watt — by more than a sack-and-a-half.

Hopefully, after the team’s bye week, Gary can play closer to his full allotment of snaps moving forward. For reference, Gary played 68 percent of the defense’s snaps in 2021 and 70 percent in 2022 — for the games that he was available in.

According to Spotrac, Gary is projected to receive a four-year, $104 million contract ($26.06 million per year) on the open market, which gives him plenty of reasons to want to push for more playing time in the final year of his rookie contract. For perspective, that would be the 25th-largest per-year average in the NFL. The only pass-rushers clearing that $26 million per year mark are Watt ($28 million per) and Joey Bosa ($27 million.)